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Top 6 Software Testing Blunders of 2010

The passing of each New Year is always a good time to reflect on the past as well as look forward to the future. It is in this spirit that I now present to you a list of 6 of the biggest software testing related blunders of 2010. After you peruse this list it will be easy to see why an effective and efficient software testing process that follows ISTQB and ISEB best practices is critical!

Toyota Recall

First on the list is the Toyota recall, which happened because of a glitch in the anti-lock braking systems of about 400,000 vehicles. Anti-lock brakes are based on embedded software, and the recall is an example of incomplete software testing. Unfortunately for Toyota, no remote software update process was possible so the vehicles already sold had to be recalled.

Y2K…Again!

A broken software application caused the bank cards of about 30 million people in Germany to become temporarily unreadable. Specifically, the bank’s software did not know how to process the date change from December 31, 2009 to January 1, 2010. The chaos that ensued is all you need to know about the necessity of proper software testing!

Wrong Organ Removal

You have to love this one! Organs were erroneously removed from 25 people in the UK thanks to a software glitch that resulted in the uploading of incorrect data on the donation preferences of 800,000 people on the organ donor list. Yikes.

Sorry, We Don’t Want Your Tax Money

Hundreds of tax payers were unable to submit their tax payments via the government’s website due to a glitch that blocked their accounts. The issue lasted for many hours, resulting in late payments and late fees.

Stock Market Blues

Many people had to change their underwear when the stock market went bonkers earlier this year. Thanks to a lack of effective software testing, an attempted data migration to a new software platform went completely awry and negatively impacted the technological nuts and bolts of the NYSE for several hours.

Help, My GPS is Lost…

Last but certainly not least, approximately 10,000 GPS receivers went down for over 2 weeks earlier in the year at the hands of a failed software upgrade.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, an inadequate software testing effort can cost companies millions of dollars in losses and also hurt their reputations, so it is important to always strive for a best-in-class software testing function. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

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